MANILA – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to expedite the release of the blood money for an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who has been spared from beheading in Saudi Arabia.
Binay said OFW Jonard Langamin has been spared from beheading after his victim’s legal heirs forgave him for his crime.
”I’m urging the DFA to expedite the payment of blood money so that Jonard can spend Christmas with his family. It is the best gift for our countryman,” Binay said.
Langamin is currently detained at the Dammam Reformatory Jail.
Binay said Langamin needs to settle the blood money demanded by his victim’s heirs.
Once the needed amount has been given to the victim’s family, Judge Sheikh Ahmad Najmi Al Otaibe of the Dammam High Court will schedule a marathon hearing for the closure of the public right aspect of the case and eventually decide on Langamin’s immediate deportation.
The private right aspect of the case concerns the negotiations between the family of the victim and the accused. Meanwhile, the public right aspect of the case represents the criminal liability of the accused to the state.
Langamin is a seafarer who was charged with murder before the Dammam High Court in Saudi Arabia for killing a fellow Filipino, Robertson Mendoza, in 2008.
Mendoza’s family initially asked for Php5 million as blood money, which was lowered to Php2 million after Binay reconciled both families during a meeting at the Coconut Palace.
Langamin was expected to be released in March 2012 after Mendoza’s father signed a tanazul or affidavit of forgiveness. The court, however, ruled that Mendoza’s mother, Rosemarie Santiago, should be the official representative of the family.
According to Binay, on November 3, Judge Sheikh Ahmad Najmi Al Otaibe accepted the tanazul presented by Santiago and as a result, Langamin wil no longer be beheaded.
Meanwhile, Binay assured other detained Filipino workers abroad that the government continues to monitor their cases and strives to secure their freedom.
”The government is not neglecting them and we will help them. The DFA is always there to help them,” Binay said.
Last Tuesday, Senators Nancy Binay and Cynthia Villar pushed for an increase of the DFA’s legal assistance fund from Php30 to Php100 million in 2015.
The two lady lawmakers made their proposal during the Senate plenary budget deliberations on the proposed Php2.606-trillion national budget for 2015.